Other Films Online

For the 2021 World Community Virtual Film Festival CLICK HERE

or scroll down to watch other great documentary films online.

Films for Action

Film offers us a powerful tool to raise awareness of important issues not covered by the corporate news. Our goal is to provide citizens of the world with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society. Our website has cataloged over 3000 of the best documentaries, short films and videos that can be watched free online, sorted into 40 subjects related to changing the world. And, since there’s still so much to learn about that isn’t featured in a film, we’ve also cataloged a fair amount of articles, too.

National Film Board of Canada’s award-winning online Screening Room

Featuring over 3,000 productions.  Films on this site can be streamed free of charge, or downloaded for your personal use for a small fee. We also offer educational works on a subscription basis to schools and institutions. Our Collection includes documentaries, animations, experimental films, fiction and interactive works. We showcase films that take a stand on issues of global importance that matter to Canadians—stories about the environment, human rights, international conflict, the arts and more.

Click Here to watch part one,  part two.

A documentary about the Conferences on the Constitutional Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (1983-85), focusing on the concept of self-government. Very important recent history for anyone interested in the current stae of relations between First Nations and the Canadian state. There is a focus on local First Nations activists Bill Wilson and his mother Ethel Pearson.

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After barricades came down, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was created. It travelled to more than 100 communities and heard from more than 1,000 representatives.  For two-and-a-half years, teams of Native filmmakers followed the Commission on its journey.

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This documentary short by Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Kahentiiosta, a young Kahnawake Mohawk woman arrested after the Oka Crisis’ 78-day armed standoff in 1990. She was detained 4 days longer than the other women. Her crime? The prosecutor representing the Quebec government did not accept her aboriginal name.

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It was the summer of 2000 and the country watched with disbelief as federal fishery officers appeared to wage war on the Mi’gmaq fishermen of Esgenoopetitj, or Burnt Church, New Brunswick. Why would officials of the Canadian government attack citizens for exercising rights that had been affirmed by the highest court in the land? What happened at Burnt Church?

Alanis Obomsawin casts her cinematic and intellectual nets into history to provide a context for the events on Miramichi Bay. Delineating the complex roots of the conflict with passion and clarity, she builds a persuasivedefence of the Mi’gmaq position. Obomsawin’s numerous credits include Incident at Restigouche (1984) and Kanehsatake 270 Years of Resistance (1993). With Is the Crown at war with us?, she once again offers compelling insight into the complex relationship between Canada and its Indigenous peoples.

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A film report of the 1969 protest demonstration by the Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) of St. Regis Reserve on the international bridge between Canada and the United States near Cornwall, Ontario. By blocking the bridge, which is on the Reserve, and causing a considerable tie-up of motor traffic, they drew public attention to their grievance. The community was prohibited by Canadian authorities from duty-free passage of personal purchases across the border; a right established by the Jay Treaty of 1794. The film shows the confrontation with police, and ensuing action.

Open Culture scours the web for the best educational media. We find the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & educational videos you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between.

BBC online – https://www.bbc.co.uk/ideas/videos/

Vancouver Island Regional Library has Kanopy with access to thousands of films… you can access 6 a month with your library card.  https://virl.bc.ca/eresources/kanopy/

CBC documentaries:  https://gem.cbc.ca/category/documentaries/?cmp=SEM_DocsBrand

Films from past World Community Film Festivals

Food Chains  (86 min, Director: Sanjay Rawal)

Farm labour has always been one of the most difficult and poorly paid jobs and has relied on some of the most vulnerable people. Exploitation still exists, ranging from wage theft and sexual harassment to modern-day slavery. This exploitation is perpetrated by the corporations at the top of the food chain, supermarkets. Their buying power has kept wages pitifully low, but desperately poor people are willing to put up with almost anything to keep their jobs. In this exposé, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm workers in the US.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret  (Filmmaker: Kip Andersen 85 min.)

Cowspiracy follows filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers one of the most destructive industries facing the planet today and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations won’t talk about it. Anderson asserts that animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and contributes to many other environmental ills. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.  As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of personal risks if he dares to persist.

Ecology Transforms Youth (35 min. 2019) carswellfilm.ca

Travel with several youth as they explore the rivers and estuaries of the Comox Valley. Created by Wendy Kotilla in 2004, the Youth and Ecological Restoration program has had over 330 participants. Young people work with local researchers and environmental groups, while learning ecological restoration, wildlife rehabilitation and scientific methods. Guided by the power of nature, YER employs ecotherapy practices and mentoring support for youth to gain a sense of worth, belonging and place. See carswellfilm.ca for more films by Ed Carswell.


Jumbo Wild  pay per view Vimeo (60 min. , Director: Nick Waggoner)

For decades, First Nations, conservationists, backcountry skiers and snowboarders have fought a proposed large-scale ski resort deep in the Purcell Mountains near Invermere, BC. After 24 years of opposition, what more will it take to keep Jumbo wild for good? Vancouver-based architect, Oberto Oberti, hopes to develop this valley as the site of North America’s premiere ski area, his lifelong dream. As an emblem of the conflict between development and nature, Jumbo quickly becomes an ideological battle about how we value land and why we care so deeply about our wild backyards. Jumbo Wild features intimate access to key players on all sides of a divisive issue. Stunning cinematography!


The Fisherman’s Son (29min Filmmaker: Chris Malloy)

Ramon Navarro, a third-generation subsistence fisherman and farmer who lives on the coast of Chile at Punta Lobos, learned to surf on a broken surfboard left by a visiting surfer. Since then he has become one of the top-ten big wave riders. He has used his surfing accomplishments to protect his home beaches and he is admired around the world as an environmental activist. He fights resort development on the point, the building of pulp mills on the coast and sewage pipes that pollute the ocean off Pichilemu, Chile.


Knitting Nannas (22 min Director: Rani Brown)

Knitting Nannas Against Gas is a group of sweet ladies who ‘protest’ by unfolding some lawn chairs, popping the kettle on and knitting. The KNAGs, who formed in Australia in 2012, campaign against the growing coal-seam gas (CSG) industry, which they argue threatens to destroy prime farmland and unspoiled ecosystems. They are also absolutely delightful and effective.  From the Nannafesto: “We peacefully & productively protest against the destruction of our land, air, and water by corporations and/or individuals who seek profit and personal gain from the short-sighted and greedy plunder of our natural resources. We support energy generation from renewable sources, and sustainable use of our other natural resources. We sit, knit, plot, have a yarn and a cuppa, and bear witness to the war against those who try to rape our land and divide our communities.”


Landfill Harmonic   pay per view vimeo  (85 min., Director: Graham Townsley)

Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group of kids that live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra plays music from instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. With the guidance of their music director, they must navigate this new world of arenas and sold out concerts. However, when a natural disaster devastates their community, the orchestra provides a source of hope for the town. The film is a testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit. VIFF Impact: Int’l Audience Award.


Hadwin’s Judgement  NFB   (91 min., Director: Sasha Snow)

Grant Hadwin loved the forest, and made his living finding the best routes for roads that cut deep into BC’s remote and ancient forests for logging companies. But the utter devastation wrought by clear-cutting these beautiful forests began to obsess him and gradually drove him to commit an act that ran contrary to all he had come to love—killing the most beautiful and sacred tree on Haida Gwaii. Based on John Vaillant’s award–winning book, The Golden Spruce, director Sasha Snow interweaves speculative re-enactments, Haida legends, interviews and stunning cinematography to explore the motives and pressures that led to Hadwin’s unprecedented crime. Hadwin’s Judgement charts his crusade against the destruction of the world’s last great temperate rainforest—a crusade that ends tragically with his disappearance and prophetic warning, sealing Hadwin’s fate as both madman and visionary.


Bikes versus Cars  – pay per view Vimeo (88 min., Director: Fredrik Gertten)

Bikes versus Cars  depicts a global crisis that we need to talk about; climate, Earth’s resources, and cities where the entire surface is consumed by cars.  The bike is a great tool for change. The powerful interests who gain from the private car invest billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business from the growing popularity of alternative modes of transportation. In the film we meet activists and thinkers who are fighting for better cities,  and who refuse to stop riding bikes despite all obstacles. Audience Award, UK Green Film Fest; Best Feature, San Francisco Green Film Festival; Grand Prize for Best International Documentary at Cinemambiente Environmental Film Festival 


The True Cost – pay per view Netflix and other sites  (92 min.)   

This is a story about clothing. It is about the clothes we wear, the people who make them and the impact it’s having on our world. The price of “fast fashion” clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary that pulls back the curtain on an unseen part of our world and asks each of us to consider who pays the price for our clothing.

Haida Gwai: On the Edge of the World  (75 min. Director: Charles Wilkinson)  – 

Haida Gwai: On the Edge of the World focuses on life on the archipelago along the northern B.C. coast. It tells the story of the people and the region, which has been home to its residents for 14,000 years. The movie tackles themes such as the people’s resilience in the face of over-extraction of its resources, community, and a way of life at odds with the fast-paced, modern world. Haida hereditary Chief Allan Wilson, renowned activist Guujaaw and eco-activist Severn Cullis-Suzuki work alongside scientists, organic farmers, artists and quirky islanders to create a synergy of sustainable development. “Revels in supernatural B.C. beauty… it’s also remarkably astute” POV Magazine.    Best Canadian Feature, Hot Docs; Most Popular Canadian Documentary, VIFF.


24 Hour Drum – Aboriginal Youth in the Sea to Sky  (34 min.  Filmmaker: Ed Carswell)  

This film follows a three month journey taken by an Aboriginal Youth Leadership group in BC’s Sea to Sky corridor. Inspired and empowered by an Urban Ink slam poetry workshop, 60 youth created work around two chosen themes; 1) missing and murdered Aboriginal women and 2) what it is like to be Aboriginal today. They rehearsed and then performed spoken word and poetry in schools throughout the region at the 24 Hour Drum event on May 1, 2015.  Twelve days later they surprised and inspired an audience of over 400 at the Canadian Association of Principals Conference in Whistler.  Now there is no stopping them.

To see more indigenous films like this go to carswellfilm.ca